For A New Mother
Everyone will have big things to overcome as a new mother, some may seem small, but everything is big at this new stage. It’s a time that your whole life is turned upside down and you lose yourself a bit, my hurdle is about feeding, so if you’re a new mother, there will be a hurdle, but share it so that the world knows it happens and perhaps your experience can save someone their sanity.
I’ve seen a few posts lately on breastfeeding against bottlefeeding and it’s by far the worst discussion, but one that needs talked about. I’ve been questioning going into my journey as it’s quite close to the bone and still to this day I wonder about getting over it. Nowadays I know feeding your child is better than not feeding your child, how you do it is up to you. No judgement on this subject please.
Breast is drilled into you being best. Drilled in to you so far, that you come to think that you’d be harming your child if you don’t breast feed, at least that’s the way I felt. Drilled into you so that at the point that you’re crying in pain, you’re struggling through, growing apart from your baby even more because it’s the “best” thing to do. No. Some things are more important.
What is best?
Best I would say, would be good mental health. The ability to feed your child without screaming in pain. The reaction when your child cried to be fed was not to cower and cry thinking about it. So for me perhaps it’s a different story to many, but perhaps not. Thinking much more clearly than I was ever able at the time, there is no pressure. It’s not the past, there are options now, because it wasn’t just me. There are options because we don’t need to struggle through it like hundreds of years ago, there is much more emphasis to peoples happiness and enjoyment of life and their connection to their children than was ever cared about in the past. The world HAS changed for the better, so why do we cause ourselves such mental turmoil if the world already recognises this.
It’s the worst most lonely time of your life having just had a baby. Especially if you’ve got no friends with children and you’re not really sure if you’re doing it right or wrong. You believe and listen to anyone with experience, no matter what they say. You listen to the midwives continually telling you “you’re doing the right thing, breastfeeding” when they had eyes. You ignore your husband or mum because these professionals have told you most importantly that you ARE doing the right thing. But it just takes someone from the outside to look in and finally say “enough is enough.”
In the end, I stopped after 5 weeks, 5 weeks of hell, the worst of my life. Then after I stopped, it didn’t end there. The guilt came, extreme amounts of guilt. I felt as if I’d failed her. I had friends who just took to it, I felt as if I had personally failed her. I’ve not thought about this for a long time, just getting over it and not making myself feel bad about it, I’ve had lots of mum guilt recently and the more I write it down the more I seem to have. I’m listening to my own advice, it’s good to share!
Does guilt leave you?
Strangely enough as time goes on I feel less guilty about not breastfeeding and more guilty about not stopping sooner. Having an affected relationship has been much worse than not doing the “best” thing.
It took having my second baby, who I was sure, positive I’d breastfeed – again, what’s drilled into you doesn’t leave you. So I tried, twice, in the hospital alone, then the best thing could have happened, a lovely midwife came and said
“don’t bother yourself, what’s more important?!”
She was right, what’s more important. So my second is bottle fed, my eldest was bottle fed, they’re happy and healthy and I’m happy and healthy. This story is one that I think needs to be shared more than most stories. Perhaps there can be more support, the “best” thing isn’t always right for everyone and perhaps if it’s caught sooner perhaps it might save some future turmoil. As I said, it was the worst time of my life, hopefully it doesn’t have to feel like the worst part of someone elses.
Whether it's feeding or something else, if you're not 100%, think about what you have to change and change it, your sanity is much more important.
Your relationship with your baby is much more important.